HIGH POINT, N.C., Dec. 20, 2018 – Throughout the months of November and December, High Point University students, faculty and staff hosted programs and events to benefit the local community and beyond. These efforts are part of the 100,000 hours of service and thousands of dollars that the HPU family contributes each year to local causes.
HPU’s eighth annual Community Christmas celebration welcomed thousands of visitors to campus to enjoy Polar Express train rides, a life-size Nativity scene, Santa’s Stable Petting Zoo, visits with Santa, free hot cocoa and food and a special visit with Anna and Elsa from “Frozen.”
“High Point’s University is blessed indeed to be able to welcome people from across the region to come here and know what Christmas is all about,” said HPU President Nido Qubein. “It’s about enjoying the beauty of this campus, to have families gather together in fellowship and to be in such a festival of lights, beauty, food and togetherness.”
Community Prayer Breakfast
HPU’s 48th annual Community Prayer Breakfast rang in the Christmas season with 800 community members.
HPU President Nido Qubein welcomed the community and introduced this year’s special guest speaker, the Rev. Robert Norris, pastor and head of staff at the Royal Poinciana Chapel.
The university fed the community as the HPU Chapel Choir, directed by Dr. Elizabeth Doebler, assistant director of choral activities, Jamestown UMC, Calvary Baptist and Williams Memorial treated the audience with Christmas music. Special music was performed by HPU’s Dr. Marc Foster, department of music chair, who sang “O Holy Night.”
“It makes me feel the joy of Christmas,” said the Rev. Jessie Keaton, a former minister. “It really brings home the joy of being with people in such a way that you want to share good news and cheer and be happy and joyful. It’s a wonderful time and I enjoy everything that’s done. The music, speaking and beauty of everything is just awesome. I could come here year after year and never get tired.”
HPU’s Community Prayer breakfast was supported by the Haggai Prayer Breakfast Fund, Smith and Jennings, Johnson’s Modern Electric, Fence Builders Inc. and Digger Enterprises.
Angel Tree Program
HPU’s Hayworth Chapel Board of Stewards raised more than $14,000 for the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program and shopped for toys, clothes and necessities for local families. HPU students purchased gifts for 150 children from 70 families in the High Point community.
“This shopping trip was the culmination of a semester-long initiative to provide thousands of dollars-worth of gifts to the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program,” said Christine Watt, HPU’s Angel Tree coordinator and member of the Board of Stewards. “It is very exciting to have such a dedicated group of students working hard to make Christmas happen for our neighbors throughout High Point. Each gift represents a smile on the face of a child in need, and that is worth more than all the time and money in the world.”
Stuff a Stocking Campaign
HPU’s Student Government Association along with the entire HPU family loaded more than 600 stockings into a van to support the Salvation Army of High Point’s Stuff a Stocking campaign. This year, HPU contributed more than 75 percent of the organization’s total need in the city of High Point.
“We’re so thankful for HPU and all that they do for the Salvation Army,” said Major Beth Sturdivant, commanding officer of the Salvation Army of High Point. “It’s phenomenal to know that those items are going to come from HPU so our families don’t have to stress over that.”
Family Services of Davidson County and Family Service of the Piedmont
HPU’s faculty, staff and graduate students in the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication donated Christmas gifts to Family Service of the Piedmont in High Point and Family Services of Davidson County, helping six families.
This is the seventh year the Qubein School of Communication has donated gifts to local families.
April Lawson is Family Services of Davidson County’s shelter services coordinator and says the families appreciate the gifts from HPU.
“Local children will have what they need,” said Lawson. “To know that people at HPU give willingly, and to see the appreciation on our clients’ faces means the world.”
Student Council for Exceptional Children
Student Council for Exceptional Children’s Special Populations Christmas Dance welcomed about 100 participants and plenty of holiday spirit.
HPU’s SCEC, which consists of majors from across HPU who share a common interest in promoting awareness and providing support for individuals with disabilities, partnered with High Point Parks and Recreation to host the dance.
Nicole Hayes is a frequent visitor to HPU’s special populations dances around Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s Day.
“I like coming because I also cheer for HPU’s basketball teams,” said Hayes. “I like to play the games, it’s my favorite thing. I’m happy and joyful here.”
Sales Club Turkey Donations
HPU’s Professional Selling Club picked up Thanksgiving meals and delivered them to various Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater High Point locations on Nov. 19. The club raised enough funds to provide 75 full Thanksgiving meals to families in need.
This is the fourth year HPU’s Selling Club has partnered with the organization.
“It’s always good working with the HPU students on this project because it’s the holiday season and you have a lot of families in need for a Thanksgiving meal,” said Kenny Mack, vice president of operations at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater High Point. “The families receive the sides, the drinks, and all of that makes a difference. We serve 75 families, which has a big impact in our organization.”